Sunday, March 28, 2004

Hateful speech by police must be curbed further

We were delighted to read in the March 23 Enquirer ("Reviewers can't say race slur occurred") that City Manager Valerie Lemmie directed Police Chief Tom Streicher to implement a new policy stating that "members of the department shall not express verbally or in writing any prejudice or offensive comments concerning race, religion, national origin, lifestyle or similar personal characteristic."

A couple of weeks ago, City Council passed an ordinance indicating there would be no tolerance for racial slurs. As we informed members of council, we endorse the zero-tolerance policy, but we strongly urge them to expand this policy to the other groups Lemmie mentions. We must have no tolerance for any city employee taking any action or making any comments that are offensive or that show prejudice toward any group. We hope and expect that City Council will expand their ordinance.

Art Shriberg chairman, Cincinnati Human Relations Commission

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